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Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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In compliance with the requirement of section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Department of Health and Human Services, is publishing the following summary of proposed collections for public comment. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the Agency's function; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

1. Type of Information Collection Request: New collection; Title: Medicare Plan Finder Experiment; Use: The mission of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is to ensure the provision of health care to its beneficiaries. Recent legislative mandates, including the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, require CMS to provide information to beneficiaries about the quality of the Medicare health and prescription drug plans. To provide that information, all Medicare health and prescription drug plans with an enrollment of 600 or more are required to collect and report data following protocols that CMS has established. CMS has also contracted with various organizations to develop valid and reliable quality measures and to consider how best to report those measures to beneficiaries.

A primary vehicle for reporting quality information to beneficiaries is the Medicare Plan Finder, a section of the Medicare Web site that is intended to help beneficiaries make informed choices among health and prescription drug plans. The Medicare Plan Finder tool contains a great deal of potentially useful information, including extensive data on the fixed and variable costs associated with being enrolled in plans, the benefits and coverage that plans offer, and the quality of service that plans provide, as revealed by member experience data, disenrollment statistics, and a variety of measures of clinical processes and outcomes.

One of the key challenges that CMS has faced is how to engage beneficiaries with the quality information provided in the Medicare Plan Finder. Among the possible reasons that beneficiaries may fail to engage with this information are first, that several steps are required for a user of the Medicare Plan Finder to gain access to comparative plan information, and second that once the user does reach a data display, the amount of information presented is voluminous, and can seem overwhelming.

This study will use an experimental design to assess the effectiveness of two potential enhancements to the Medicare Plan Finder tool that may help address these barriers to engagement and use of quality information. The purpose of this experiment is to test the effects of two prospective enhancements to the Medicare Plan Finder (MPF) Web site. We refer to these prospective enhancements as the “Quick Links” home page and the “enhanced data display.” Form Number: CMS-10441(OCN#: 0938-New); Frequency: Reporting—Once; Affected Public: individuals or households; Number of Respondents: 600; Total Annual Responses: 600; Total Annual Hours: 252. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact David Miranda at 410-786-7819. For all other issues call 410-786-1326.)

To obtain copies of the supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed paperwork collections referenced above, access CMS Web Site address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PaperworkReductionActof1995, or Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to Paperwork@cms.hhs.gov, or call the Reports Clearance Office on (410) 786-1326.

To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations for the proposed information collections must be received by the OMB desk officer at the address below, no later than 5 p.m. on January 10, 2013.

OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: CMS Desk Officer, Fax Number: (202) 395-6974, Email: OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov.

Dated: November 19, 2012.

Martique Jones,

Director, Regulations Development Group, Division B, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.

[FR Doc. 2012-28569 Filed 11-23-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-01-P